Trainer Clarry Connors is happy with the 2014 Caulfield Cup lead-up form of Dear Demi and believes that the veteran mare will be suited by the step-up to 2400 metres in the Group 1 event at Caulfield this weekend.
Dear Demi returned to winning form with a fast-finishing victory in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26, but she was slightly disappointing to the eye when she finished seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last weekend.
The Dehere mare received a lovely run into the Caulfield Stakes in the middle of the pace, but failed to hit the line with her usual vigor and the likes of Happy Trails and Sacred Falls ran past her in the final stages of the race.
Connors said at the 2014 Caulfield Cup barrier draw yesterday that he was initially disappointed with the run of Dear Demi in the Caulfield Stakes, but after analysing the performance and speaking to jockey Jim Cassidy believes that the effort was better than it appeared heading into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this weekend.
“I was a bit disappointed with the run on Saturday, but there were a lot of circumstances and I went home and found heaps of reasons why she didn’t win,” Connors said.
“Jimmy got off the horse and said that she was more dour and was looking for 2400.
“She was on the inside part of the track and I thought that the track was bias against horses on the inside.
“By race three all the riders were coming off the fence and there must have been a reason because the inside is the shortest way around.
“Jimmy stayed on the fence for my mare and she just sort of battled away.
“She pulled up after the race and you would not have known that she had went around and that was the amazing part of it.
“Reading behind the lines I think that she had a pretty easy run and never even got warmed up.”
Dear Demi worked home strongly on the inside of the track to finish third behind Fawkner and Dandino in the 2013 edition of the Caulfield Cup and Connors believes that the five-year-old is in even better form heading into this year’s race, while the veteran trainer was also happy with barrier 13 for the Group 1 winner.
“The horse is going better than she was last year,” Connors said.
“I am very happy with my mare, she has pulled up great and with a couple of emergencies drawn inside she will start from 11.”
Dear Demi is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $17.